There’s an old Chinese curse which says: “May you live in interesting times!”

This is certainly true for the charity sector as 2017 unfolds – although not all the interest is as bad as the curse suggests.

What is clear, however, is that charities big and small need to embrace new technology and new methods of fundraising.

A report from Barclays Bank suggests that charities may be missing out on around £80 million of donations annually through only accepting cash donations. One donor in 7 declined to give if the charity was not accepting credit or debit cards. Barclays have been trialling a contactless system involving 11 major charities – with some impressive results. Watch this space ……..

A surprising number of charities do not yet offer text giving – yet statistics show that this is the most important method of giving for those in the under-30 age group.

The jury is still out on the long-term effects of 2 other relative newcomers to the charity scene. Crowdfunding has enjoyed huge popularity since Barack Obama funded his successful presidential campaign that way. But its benefit to charities is less clear. There have been a number of high profile successes – and even more less-publicised failures ! What is clear is that setting up a successful crowdfunding g campaign take time, effort and good organisation.

The other development is the increasing use of eBay by charities in general, and charity shops in particular. The British Heart Foundation has done especially well from eBay, but it’s unclear yet how valuable eBay will be for smaller charities.

And if new technology isn’t a big enough headache, charities are now being asked to finance the Charity Commission. Should they ? Or should the taxpayer pick up the tab?

Interesting times, indeed.